How old to tell them why their dad's not there?

Samantha - posted on 04/01/2010 ( 39 moms have responded )

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my daughter is 2 months old right now and my ex hasn't talked or had any contact wit me since june of 2009 wen i told him that i was pregnant.. wen i told him he said to get a abortion cuz he wasn't ready to be a father but i cant do that cuz me personally am against abortion and i always wanted a baby and had lost one in the past and my ex just has absolutely nothing to do wit her and i had to find out through his ex he is getting married and movin to florida .. i don want him to be apart even if he had tried i gave him my whole pregnancy to come forward but not even a how are yuo doin.. nothin ziltch nada.. so i was wondering if anyone has been in my situation and wen you told you child about their father and why hes not around... i do now weni tell her if she decided she wants to look for him ill be there for her but if she decided not to then i will respect her decision but i just don know wen i should tell her



should i wait till she ask me bout why she don have a dad or should i tell her before ?



any help please

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Bridget - posted on 04/01/2010

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she will ask one day and you will just cry. Don't ever lie to your kid. Just tell your baby how it all happen. Good luck

Amber - posted on 04/04/2010

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im in the same spot... i know that eventually my daughter will ask about her dad because she sees her dads family( his mom, stepdad, brothers and sister) at least once a month usually more. she is a year old now, and has only seen her dad a handful of times. i keep hoping that sometime he will decide hes ready to be a dad, but dont think he ever will. he also told me to have an abortion but saw her twice of his own accord and the other times he was forced to by his family. i just keep thinking what i will do if she ever asks. i know i have to tell her the truth, but what truth? he wasnt ready to be a dad? he was mean to mommy? dont want her to hate her dad. hes not a bad guy... after all i loved him once... being a dad scared him but i dont want to make it her fault either so really leaning 2wards the we cant get along way...

Elizabeth - posted on 04/02/2010

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i have that problem with mine children, the older two know their dad but my youngest doesnt, he has walked out on them all, he told me to get rid of it, (our youngest) so when she ask i will tell her the truth and then it will be up to her if she wants to find him and ill be there to pick the piceces when he lets her down then, thats all i can do be honest and be there for them.

Laura - posted on 04/02/2010

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you should wait for her to ask and be honest but don't talk bad about him... she will decide if she want him in her life or not... don't worry about those things God will give you the strength when time comes.. meanwhile just have fun with her and enjoy every single moment :)

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39 Comments

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Karleigh - posted on 09/23/2011

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im in the same position !! my daughter will be two in january and she sees her little friends with their dads and says dadda . her father has never shown an interest for her and has never even met her. i dont mind doing it on my own but i dont know how im suppose to tell her that her dad doesnt want her . Hes not the best person and im scared that one day she will want to look him up and she will be destroyed when she finds him and he tells her he doesnt care about her .

Pam - posted on 01/05/2011

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First of all good for you Amanda - abortion harms the soul of the woman,as well as the child ... It is tough. Your daughter is very young now.Later when she asks questions, you will be able to give her a good wise answer as to why her dad is not there.Yes, trust me I know , it can be heart-breaking ,BUT children are remarkably resilient( they can bounce back from something) that has happened. Yes wait , and God bless both of your hearts ...Pam

Christina - posted on 01/04/2011

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Thats a hard one to say because i am going through a situation with my ex and i have two children by him. I have had to go through a parenting class and they say not to tell your children any sort of details that you and daddy are just better off as friends. And if he is not around i would try to avoid the situation altogether. Also try to ask a therapist as to what you should do.

Rosette - posted on 01/04/2011

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We are really in same situation.Take it easy my dear.I think you have his photos,when your kid grows u will show her those photos but also keep telling her about him. The world has become crazy my dear,mine said the kid isn't his so am also looking after him alone.And never talk about him badily when you kid is around.

Kids are very innocent because everyone wants know where they came from.

Ashley - posted on 04/19/2010

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i am in a boat i dont know how to sail!!! my babys father has had nothing to do with him since he was one years old and then it was only just a glance at him when i was at his moms house. but the real problem is after years of not hearing from him and all that jazz he has moved back to the town i live in and every time i see him and his new girl friend they flip me off call me a whore , bitch and whatever they can think off . well he is raising her black baby and let me say i am not racist!!!! we are white this matters and i will tell you why in a few. well now our children are going to start pre k and will be together eventually i am scared that they will find out about each other and my baby will be so mad hurt and rejected that he might hate black people and i dont want any of it to happen! i thought about changing schools but i dont know the next closest school is 35 miles away what would you do?

Connie - posted on 04/07/2010

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Hi, my advice is to never lie to her about where her father is or why he is not around but until she is at an age where she understands more just give her basic information. Don't ever talk bad about her father that he didn't want anything to do with her.
My daughter is 10 yrs old and her father has been in prison for almost 7 yrs now for having sex with a minor. At first I lied to her about the main reason why he is in prison but as she got older, I gave her information that only that age would comprehened. I have always thought that it was up to her father why he is in prison or why he is not involved but obviously he was not going to tell the truth so one day I had to finally tell her everything. I want to let her know that mom is not hiding anything and she knows the truth of her father. I don't want her to be mad at me for not telling the truth

Sorcha-Sine - posted on 04/07/2010

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I am in the same boat. My daughter's father told me to get an abortion or he leaves. That was 10 years ago. He hasn't contacted me, he also rejected his twos with his ex wife. My daughter asked about him and I told her I will tell her about it when she is able to understand the facts.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/07/2010

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im in the same situation ur in and i know honesty is the best policy but i am not going to tell my daughter who her father is or why he left or where he is or anything. he didnt and doesnt want her to this day so im not giving him the satisfaction of having my daughter know about him at all. i dont really know what im gonna say to her yet, but it might bie that i got artificailly inseminated or something like that cuz even if she wanted to kno who he was in those cases she couldnt anyways

Angelique - posted on 04/07/2010

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I am in kinda the same situation my ex left when I was 3mos pregnant and since has gotten with someone new. He hasn't had any contact with our daughter. But my exception is that I have 2 older children that have their father in their lives and he has kinda taken on a faux dad role in my lil one's life but I know there will be a day that she will ask where her real dad is and I will do the same I advise you to do just be honest and try not to talk badly of the father even though what you would say is the truth! I hope that help at least a little

Jen - posted on 04/07/2010

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I waited until they asked about 3-4 years old and I just said something very simple and honest. Its really hard when they are small because it seems like all the other kids have their mom and dad, but as they get older a single parent is not so unusual. I tried to put positive male role models in their lives, grandpa, uncles, coaches etc. and maybe by the time shes big enough to ask you will have a special someone in your life to help fill that daddy role. Good luck! : )

Flossy - posted on 04/07/2010

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My son is eight his father has not been in contact for the past four years. We have spoken about it and i have given him enough love and attention he requires. At first he would always talk about him but of late life has gone on. You can not miss what you have never had. Be there for her be part of life and she will love you for that. Yes you will need to explain to her about him. Everyone deserves to know where they came from.

Amber - posted on 04/06/2010

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Hi,
I CHOSE to have a child with a man from the UK, (Im Australian), as a previous failed IVF attempt iwith my cheating ex-fiance, I was desperate to have a child... for selfish reasons. I too ost a child years early, but chose an abortion as I was far from stable back then, it was all completely wrong, so NO I couldnt go through an abortion the second time round... It always stays with you. The problems from the moment they start comparing their situation t 'other' children around them begin.

I asked the same person for another child, so my son would AT LEAST have company & from the same father - but the resounding NO came back.

The deal was, he was supposed to put away (25quid) each week to save up & each alternative year he would pay to travel, then I the other. HE RENEGGED ON THE WHOLE LOT.

While I was with him, things changed & we formed a relationship that went beyond a 'convenient' situation. Our feelings became stronger, but then two weeks before the baby was due, he bailed. The whole time I was with him I ummed & arrred as to what I had 'deliberately' set out to achieve & constantly pondered what sort of life I had chosen for my son. Let me tell you... the guilt NEVER goes away....

I was a complete mess & in the end my councsellor helped me work out that I hadnt felt loved for quite some time - hence MY INSATIABLE NEED to create MY OWN FAMILY, tat no0one could take away from me..... Very selfish... but there you have it.

She also told me - NOT to lie to my son, if he ever asked any difficult questions, but to be 'weary' of HOW TO TELL - age appropriate of course.

If you dont have good mle role models around - you need to set some up - not just anyone - they need to be stable themselves.

The worst problems will start when they start school, comparing themselves to their peers. Get as much support as possibe - YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT....

OH YEAH - You need to FORGIVE YOURSELF & move forward....

Summary- Be honest rom the start - but ;smooth' things over when they first get a taste of that initial feeling. Only tell them when they ask - dont volunteer it. Only start telling them once you have the support so that you can handle these HARD, HARD questions.

Get ready for when school starts - that's the hardest year...- they're not silly....

Maybe try & send some pictures to the father -it helps - trust me.

Luke - my son's father, now 'skypes' my son once a month. I paid for the last trip, bu Luke wont spend a cent. As long as they know he's around 'SOMEWHERE', they will feel less like they've been abandonned.

When you're ready, ALLOW yourself to meet someone worthy of your love & this could work out better for everyone.

P.s. As soon as I decided to become pregnant - I knew then, that the next five years was going to be like hell.... & it was...

My son is now at his first year of school & hes a very happy little boy, he's now involved in activities where men are his role models - Tennis Coaches - swimming Teachers - The Principal of his School hs also jumped on Board & I make myself available' to his needs when he asks those hard questions.

YOU WILL FIND BALANCE & YOU WILL BE HAPPY AGAIN.

XXX
lOVE & lIGHT
aMBER :)

Kerrie - posted on 04/06/2010

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I have handled the situation by answering each question she asks as honestly as possible but still being age-appropriate. My 5 yr old doesn't remember her dad because we left when she was 2 and I was pregnant with our 2nd child...she asks questions once in a while. Basically, all she knows at this point is that I didn't pick a very good daddy for her, and when mommies don't pick good daddies, it's better for the kids if the mommy gets the kids all to herself. My 2 yr old has never met him or asked about him...I don't think he understands that he is "supposed" to have a dad.

So, my advice is to just answer her questions as they come....and not to worry too much because you will have the words to say when you need them.

Danielle - posted on 04/06/2010

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my situation is the EXACT same, even to the fact that I have not seen the father since I told him I was pregnant in june of last year. He has yet to meet my 6 week old nor does he want too. Says its too hard or something like that. He also lives in a different city and is with someone else.

I have thought alot about this and I think waiting until they are old enough to understand or until they ask is best. Would be really hard to try and explain to a child that is just a few years old why their daddy isn't there and all that.

good luck with everything:)

[deleted account]

Hi, I'm kinda in the same situtation as you. My seven year-old son is adopted and has begun to ask questions about why he doesn't have a father and where his father is. I've never lied to him about being adopted. I've used the word often. At first he didn't understand of course, but now he seems to have a better knowledge of it. When he asked about his father, I had to explain that I didn't know his father. So my advice to you is to wait until she asks you. That will be when she's ready to hear what you have to say. Be truthful but cautious in what you tell her, too much information is as bad as too little, for a child.

Martha - posted on 04/06/2010

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my son and i are in a silent agreement that his dad is not around. this is not confusing for him, his dad is just non-existant, my dad (my sons grandfather) and my brohters (his uncles) are a replacement for male rolemodels in my sons life. he calls my dad his dad, but he does understand that he doesn't have one. when the time comes i know i will have to sit down and talk to him. my son is 6 and has only asked me once why he doesn't have a dad, and i know that it won't be the last time

Sheri - posted on 04/06/2010

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My 9 year old started asking when she was 4 so that is when I told her. You should wait until they ask but don't ever bad mouth the other parent in front of them or around them because it will hurt them and they may not show it for a while. You just need to assure them that they are loved and that you are there no matter what. I also told my daughter that I was sure that her daddy loved her in his own way and that made her happy. Now that she is older she lets him have it when he breaks promises and doesn't follow through so that I don't have to. It will eventually hurt him in the long run if he doesn't have anything to do with the child because children know and remember who is there and who's not.

Suzana - posted on 04/06/2010

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hi,
my name is Susan and I have 20 months old babygirl. She came from relationship who lasted for 4 months,then was when I got pregnant and he left me. It was twins pregnancy but I lost one baby. During all pregnancy I tried to have normal comunication with him so that one day he will realaise that he was misteken and wants to be part of our childs life. But that didnt happen!!! he told me to get an abortion and when I lost one child he told me that why I didnt loose both??
When baby was born I sent him mms with picture of his daugther and her name so that he knows that he is a dad. He said she is nice and only thing that he wanted is sex with me!! He makes me sick!!
He has never seen her, he is not helping me, I have credit for my apartment, it is difficult, but I have beautiful baby girl!!
Now she speaks a lot, she understands a lot, and time came when she asked where is dad? My answer was: You have a dad who loves you but he doesnt live with us.He lives with another woman. And that is what I will always tell her,because I dont wanna lie to her. And maybe whens he gets bigger I will tell her the wholle truth.
Best regards,
Suzana

Dido - posted on 04/06/2010

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Laura is right. Wait for her to ask & tell her the truth without making him look bad. After all, he is still the father of your child. Just pray nobody beats you to it & tells her the nasty truth like what happened to my son because it will hurt you both.When the right time comes, you'll know what to do. God bless you both.

Georgia - posted on 04/05/2010

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You have a very long time!! I wouldn't worry until she asks, she won't really be asking until school. My son knew because he was 3 when his Dad went to prison & 6 or so when he was sent to the UK forever!! She will ask when she see's daddy's at school etc., it will break ur heart however, u may meet mister right!! Good Luck 2 u!!

Morgan - posted on 04/05/2010

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i am in the same spot except my son will b 2 in aug he has no ckue who his daddy is ai am fixing to get married and that is who he considers his dad im sure one day he is gonna ask about it and when he does i am just gonna tell him that his dad didnt want to be around u just have to tell them the truth i guess

Jennifer - posted on 04/05/2010

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Whatever you do.. don't lie. I told my son that I didn't know.. but that I do know that daddy loves him.. He always asked me where his dad lived.. I used to answer well I don't really know.. but it's probably far away. Which as far as I knew.. Was true.. Once I knew he lived in PA I told my son that his dad lives in PA.. but I don't know where.. Which is true as well.

Amber - posted on 04/05/2010

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there isn't a certain age that you should tell her. my daughter is almosst 3months old, an im in pretty much the same situation. but trust me, you'll know when to tell you daughter, she'll give you signs that she's curious, like longing looks to full families, and may even ask, but i've decided to wait until we're both ready. but her dad isn't the best...he's somewhat what you'd call a deadbeat dad, and i'm going to tell her that we're both young when it happened, and he had no idea on how to handle it; or how great she really ended up being!!!!

Reagan - posted on 04/05/2010

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I am in a similar situation. My son just turned 1 & his father wants nothing to do with either of us. When my son is old enough to ask questions I will tell him how much I wanted a child, how much I wanted him. That mommy had a special friend that wanted to help her out & that he cared very much about her and from that love you were born. It will be a romanticized version of the truth, it will be the truth from that moment. My son does not need to know the truth about what followed, the harsh words, hurt feelings, his lack of interest in the child he created. How I feel about his father will not come into play. Since there is no record of his father's name on the birth certificate or anything, he will not be able to search him out. Hopefully I am enough for my son, that I can give him enough love & support that 2 parents can provide. As long as my son is happy & healthy there is no reason for him to feel the need to fill the void left by his absent father, well..., hopefully, because that is the plan. Good luck!

Andrea - posted on 04/05/2010

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well i would wait until she asks. and dont lie to her... i was in a simular situation ... and although my daughter had a new dad not her biological... years later after we brokeup he ended up getting married and told his new wife that she was his daughter not by blood but by GOD ... well when my daughter was oldenuf to realize "hey i dont look like you or my other sisters"...she asked.(she was about 12).. well his new wife took it apon her self to tell her "he was not her father and those were not he sisters and that her boi dad didnt want her" ... it was a mess i was so mad... and to make it worse they were in MI an i was in TN. but believe u me wen i got up there i had a few thing to say to that woman... lol... but the point is when she asks tell, by that ime you will proly have a new man, one that will take her as his own and she may never ask... but the most important thing is dont lie... she will have more respect for you in the long run for not lieing.

Rachael - posted on 04/04/2010

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I am in the same situation except my three year old remembers his dad and tells me that he misses him and wants to call him... I sometimes just tell him that i know that you miss your dad. his dad calls and then will stop for a while, he agreed to have his rights signed away but my state doesnt allow it unless i was gettng married... but i guess he will find out and have questions when he is older and i will have to tell him the truth, i know that his dad will tell him lies cause that is what happened to his dad and he know has issues with his own mother.. I guess he will find out and all i ca do is love him and give him the best at what i can do!

Caren - posted on 04/04/2010

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I am in total agreement with most of you. When she asks questions, she's ready for the answers. Honesty is key, but so is reassuring her that you love her no matter what. Good luck to you.

Kelsey - posted on 04/04/2010

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my daughters 5 now. i was in the same shoes as you. i was honest in a very slick blame myself way. "we just didnt get along sweetie" she now sees her dad occasionally and we mostly communicate through his mom. i still worry about the deeper questions. that baby loves you and the answers will come naturally.

Amber - posted on 04/03/2010

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I agree that she'll ask and there's no reason to bring it up before then.
@Elizabeth - I'm in a similar situation and my youngest seems least affected by not having a dad since he doesn't remember ever having one. Honesty is the best policy, but I would never EVER tell that child that their father wanted them aborted. That would be devastating and unnecessary. It is possible to be honest without giving every slimy detail.

Samantha - posted on 04/02/2010

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thanks and i wouldn talk bad all she needs to hear is that he wasnt ready to take the responsibilty of raising a human percious life like her and all that thanks you guys=) i appricitate the help

Ashley - posted on 04/02/2010

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thanks again for everyone great advice.. and ocala is like a half hour from here... i am right in daytona beach actually moving to ormond beachside in two weeks... i think that is what i am goign to do... i think i am going to apply to get my benefits back and just tell him too bad i need my benefits and if that mean to get them you ahve to pay the support you should have been paying anyway then that is what is going to happen. i have shea on medicaid and i used to get food stamps i stopped getting them because i didnt need them staying with my mom for a short period of time after we broke up until i could get back on my feet and start working(which i did full time) and save enough money to get us a place. now that it is just going to be us i am going to need the help his support and a small portion of food stamps just to make sure that i have food for my little bottomless pit of a son who eats everything and anything you put in front of him!
thanks again for all the help.

Samantha - posted on 04/01/2010

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oh ill never lie to her i don decided that i don thought it throw that if she ever asked or wen i told her that i would be straight up honest and just go like your daddy wasnt ready to be a daddy and things like that i would never ever ever lie to her but yea i prob wait till she aske me questions cuz she will see her cousin whose dad is around twenty four seven and she will prob go like why does kameron(her cousin) have a daddy but i don and i prob will break out in tears but i will tel her the truth i wont tell her he wanted me to abort her that ill keep out cuz she don need to hear that but if she wants to look for him i will be right by her side to help but if she decideds she don want to meet him or do anything i will respect her wishes .. but yea maybe waiting till she ask and fully understands i should tell her im just nervous i guess no kid deserves to hear thier daddy didn want them before they even were even born..

Amyleigh - posted on 04/01/2010

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i would wait until she starts to ask questions.. but really, the best thing to do is to be honest with her.. good luck mama x

Lauren - posted on 04/01/2010

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I am not in your situation but I am a single mother. I believe when your children understand they're father isn't around just be honest. caring and listen if they have anything to say or ask. Now when it comes to "why" the father isnt around.. I suppose you should ask a Social Worker or mothers in your situation. Take care :-)

Kirsty - posted on 04/01/2010

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I am in the same kind of way. I have a 3 year old. I am going 2 tell my son when he starts 2 ask questions the truth why his father isn't around. I think when she starts 2 ask you about him then tell her. Good luck 4 the future.

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